Rosemary was giving the kitchen rug a good thrashing against a tree on Monday morning when a buggy turned into the driveway. Squinting against the sun’s glare as it peeked over the horizon, she watched as Katherine Huyard slowed down and stopped. Rosemary bit her tongue, reprimanded herself for allowing ugly thoughts to creep into her mind, then put the rug down in the grass and walked toward the buggy. Katherine stepped out toting a basket that was most likely filled with fresh vegetables from her garden.
Rosemary glanced at the healthy weeds she was growing within what used to be a fenced garden, determined not to let Katherine get under her skin. The first few times Katherine brought vegetables, Rosemary had been grateful that she didn’t have to buy them in town. But now Katherine came at least two times a week, and the woman made Rosemary feel inferior. Her tomatoes were the biggest and tastiest Rosemary had ever had. So were her cucumbers, zucchinis, squash, melons, and spinach. And Katherine was always dressed in a freshly ironed dress and apron. Even her kapp looked just pressed, and there wasn’t a hair out of place. Rosemary blew a strand of her own wayward hair from her face as she took her wrinkled self toward Katherine. She waved, hoping the visit would be short.
“Your daed told me at worship how much he’s been enjoying my vegetables, so I’ve filled the basket.” Katherine flashed her perfectly white teeth as she handed Rosemary the produce. It seemed Katherine was always smiling. Rosemary wondered how that could be. Katherine had lost her husband to cancer a year ago. It had been four years since Rosemary’s mother died, and only recently did her father show any signs of joy.
“Danki, Katherine.” Rosemary accepted the gift, knowing her father and the boys would be grateful. “Would you like to come in for kaffi or tea?”
“Nee. I’ve got some mending to do for mei nieces and nephews. I try to help Ellen as much as I can.”
For a few seconds, Katherine’s smile faded and she got a faraway look in her eyes. Rosemary never knew why Katherine and her husband, John, didn’t have any children. Rosemary was about ten years younger than Katherine, who was in her early thirties. In a flash, Katherine’s smile was back. Rosemary wondered what it would be like to switch places with the woman for a day, to have no one to tend to but herself. Even though Rosemary longed for a husband and children of her own, having even one day to herself sounded like heaven.
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Beth Wiseman is the best-selling author of over 1.3 million books, and she was the recipient of the prestigious Carol Award in 2011 and 2013. She is also a three-time winner of the Inspirational Readers Choice Award, and in 2013 she took home the coveted Holt Medallion.
As a former newspaper reporter, Beth was honored by her peers with eleven journalism awards, including first place news writing for The Texas Press Association. She left her job as a journalist in 2008 to write novels full time.
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